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What cookware do you recommend to survive a hurricane?

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So far we have a manual can opener and several ice chests. The idiot who built the house put gas lines to serve 2 fireplaces, but opted for an electric stove and oven. The man of the house seems delighted: "Oh, an excuse to grill!" I guess he is blind to the wind and rain.

My biggest fear is being without coffee.

Anyway, what else will make this storm easier? Do they even make battery-powered hot water dispensers?

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  1. Is it too late to get a butane stove from Chinatown?

    1. I've seen battery operated water dispensers but not any that actually heat the water.

      Stainless steel pot set over the propane gas grill? That should boil water, right? Well, eventually and if there's not too much water in it.

      Looks like there will be a mandatory evacuation order issued here any time now. The neighboring town just did it and so I have a feeling the lawyers willl be nudging our supervisor to do the same. IMHO it is just a matter of CYA for the powers that be....

      I hate hurricane season.

      I figure our power will go out before midnight tomorrow and it's anyone's guess when it will come back. The last hurricane we had in this neck of the woods wiped out the power for 2 weeks. Oh joy. Guess I better eat that ice cream now while it's still the proper consistency, right? LOL

      When is it predicted to hit your area? They are now saying tomorrow evening hereabouts.

      I wish the first half of it wasn't going to be in the dead of night. Won't be able to see what the heck is happening out there, only hear it. At least the last hurricane had the decency to arrive at 9 a.m.

      EDITED TO ADD: Just a crazy idea but if you have one of those butane torchlike things that are used to caramelize the top of a creme brulee, could that be used to heat the bottom of a kettle if it had just enough water in it for a cup of coffee at a time? Probably would not be enough heat to bring it to real boil though. :-(

      Also I wonder if places like Sports Authority or stores that sell camping equipment have any of these left:




      1 Reply
      1. re: skyline

        What if you make the coffee now and then have it "iced"? Won't be cold for long if the electricity is out, but could get you buy for a bit.

      2. If you are worried about the lack of coffee because you are addicted to caffeine, make sure you have some Red Bull or No Doz or something with caffeine to stave off the headaches. About 5 years or so I weaned myself off of caffeine VERY SLOWLY. I was "rewarded" with an ice storm that promptly left me without power (I had electric heat, hot water heater, and oven/stove). As much as I griped, at least I didn't have to worry about the caffeine withdrawal headaches for the 6 days I didn't have power.

        I did eat a lot of peanut butter and stuff like that--boy was I grateful to be able to cook again when the power came back!

        1. We used to be out of power on a regular basis in the Hudson Valley, so we'd grab the Coleman camp cooker and move it indoors. Yeah, I know there's an issue with that, but it worked for us. Two small burners would heat a pot of water to make instant coffee, a frypan for eggs, etc. We never even knew there may be an issue with air quality etc, but it did the job. A couple large coolers for milk, those eggs, etc. We're campers, so that mentality really helps. Plus, we've always been on a well, so a ready supply and conserving water has also been a basic mindset.

          We've already filled LOTS of those large Glad plastic storage containers with water and they're being frozen as I type. We cleaned out the fridge of short shelf life perishables (leftovers - ha.) We're being pro-active, and I hope it helps!

          Jeez, we just had that earthquake and now this..... everyone be safe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: breadchick

            What about Carbon Monoxide? <Yeah, I know there's an issue with that>

            Are you kidding? Maybe the garage with the doors open, but indoors? You are incredibly lucky it hasn't killed you. Silently, because you will just fall asleep...

            1. re: RGC1982

              This was a Coleman camp stove, and although it probably wasn't smart to use it inside, it did use a clean burning fuel from Coleman. I don't actually know if it's a form of propane or butane honestly. But, we had the windows open, used it only briefly (we weren't braising meat or such) and it was actually near a window. From what I've read in other subsequent posts, I'm wondering if it really is a problem or maybe it's a matter of what fuel you use. I can't honestly give the right answer.

              I do appreciate your concern, thanks.

          2. The butane idea was nixed by the parental units. I don't get headaches from coffee, I just don't function without it. The smell, the smooth taste....

            We're trying to prepare for the loss of power tomorrow morning, but I really wish we had a heat source. I wish we could put the gas fireplace to use to heat water.

            1. I have a 3 liter Zojirushi air pot that I fill with boiling water when it looks like we're going to lose power due to winter storms. I can use it for coffee, tea, instant soup,, whatever. It'll keep water hot for more than a day.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Leepa

                Hot diggidy dog. You mean this: http://www.kohls.com/upgrade/webstore... ? Do you make the coffee right in the pot, or just keep water? I have found that keeping coffee warm for an extended period results in a bad taste. Does this keep it "fresher"?

                1. re: E_M

                  I just keep water in mine, I guess I wasn't clear about that.. If you have a French press, then you could just make fresh coffee in that as long as the water stays hot enough. Also, you might want to consider some of those Starbucks Via instant coffee packets. They're not too bad.

                  One of the things I do is to preheat it with really hot tap water while I'm waiting for the water to boil. Once your water is boiling, then dump out the tap water and fill it with the boiling water and seal it up. This will help keep the water hot for at least a day if not more.

                  Hope that helps!

                  1. re: Leepa

                    I have no french press, I was thinking I could rig up a pour-over operation with cheesecloth.

                    If no other inspiration comes, I'm going to take Jen's suggestion and make iced coffee and keep that in the cooler. Although I can't imagine dipping biscotti in THAT.

                    1. re: E_M

                      You can just make camp coffee; add coffee grounds to boiled water, stir, let sit, then pour through a strainer into a mug. Like French press w/o pressing.

                2. re: Leepa

                  Assuming you don't lose electric power and don't have a generator. I love mine.

                  1. re: rasputina

                    I do it before the power goes out. No generator. Don't need one.

                3. Sorry that this is late to the party, but there are home-delivery companies (water) that can outfit you with a freestanding dispenser w/ both cold and nearly-boiling water. I hear ya on the coffee. Why don't you make a pot and cool it? That way, if you have no heat source, you can at least gulp a cold cup (nasty, I know) to get rid of your headache. V. Strong iced tea would work well. A butane or propane stove and EXTRA CANISTERS is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, under such circumstances. And we have, under similar circumstances (minus the rain/wind, but a v. serious natural disaster) fired up the charcoal grill for the express purpose of boiling water for coffee of a morning.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mamachef

                    Do you know, the rain will happen tonight. So tomorrow, even if we have no power, we too can fire up the grill.

                    Now, where the heck did I put my water kettle?

                    1. re: mamachef

                      Wouldn't the water dispenser need a power source in order to heat the water?

                    2. COFFEE
                      been there,done that My current ways save me.
                      #1 brew extra early,store in glass bottles I use 1.75 whisky bottles or anything else similar
                      #2 cold brew,you will find an old thread with 2 fabulous methods,one mine plus another one
                      get the coffee cool cold as quick a you can so it will stay as fresh as possible

                      reheat in mugs in a water bath ...any pan with an inch or so of water
                      My mom used a mini-fondue with a candle
                      it's a pain in the ass,BUT BETTER THAN NO COFFEE

                      and I am with you about the idiot

                      take care,hope you really don't need our advice much

                      1. Yup, I recommend stainless stockpots full of water for cooking if you have a well and elec pump, and a swimming pool full of water for flushing, and pitchers full of filtered drinking water from teh refrig prior to loss of electricity. We're as ready as we can be.
                        Didn't like the tornado warnings for the next few hours here in DE. I firmly believe that short of a tornado shelter, those things are lots more dangerous than the hurricanes themselves.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Nanzi

                          Nanzi - Ihave ot admit that I felt like an idiot hiding in my basement when Newark had a tornado warning. The best tip I heard was to grind coffee beans BEFORE the power went out. I hope that you didn't have a difficult time.

                        2. You can cook in the fireplace as long as you have wood to burn or charcoal. Hopefully you don't have those stupid fake logs in there.

                          1. Here in Fla we have had our share of close calls with hurricanes and have lost power a few times. The gas grill came in very handy when we lost power. At well during the black out

                            1. reposted to add, when we were without power I used a power inverter that was plugged into the DC outlet in the car and was able to use my grinder.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                Cool. I need to add one of those to my emergency kit. Thanks!

                                  1. re: E_M

                                    Mine came yesterday! Bring it on, winter!

                              2. E_M_, hurricane is now a thing of the past. In-laws etc are dead wrong about a butane burner in the home. They are commonly used by professionals in kitchenless coking demonstrations as well as by home users. If I did not have a gas range I'd be sure to have one or two. Bloomington, IN frequently has power outages. Their concern stems from caveats about not using a charcoal grill inside. Carbon Monoxide is the danger there as it is, BTW, with gas powered generators. There are some people who install the generators in their basements or connected garages and then kill themselves. Butane gas burners are designed for indoor use. They cost about $50 each. Buy a couple and some extra fuel cartridges.

                                1. It's over now, but there's still a lot of hurricane season to go!

                                  One time we went camping, and oops, got whole beans. A little improve, we pounded the beans in a towel with a rock, and then poured them into a pot of boiling water, let them steep a bit because the "grounds" were pretty large then strained them in the French press. Another option would have been running the electric coffee mill in the car, with the power inverter (brought mainly for charging cellphones, laptop, shaver and bike lights, but we didn't bring the coffee press.)

                                  A decent butane camp stove can be had for $30-40. With enough canisters, you can cook, and heat-sterilize water for several days.

                                  We once had a 3-day power outage in suburban Portland, and as it was due to an ice storm, with frigid nighttime temps, we built a wood-stove fire and slept in nice REI mummy bags. "Modern survival exercise." Not the same as crossing Donner Pass before it was named after the ill-fated Donner Party, but three nights -3 to 5 degrees F, nothing to sneeze at. or Maybe so,.

                                  1. Yes, over now. But here in upstate New York, we're still dealing with a nightmare of major proportions. Unprecented floods from rivers, many dead - one poor woman just a couple miles from my home - and the rivers aren't expected to crest until some time tomorrow.

                                    I have to be grateful that we don't deal with this on a regular basis like the usual hurricane survivors in the Gulf Coast, and other coastal areas. But, make no mistake, we're still in "happening mode" not recover mode yet.

                                    We were not really prepared for such devestation - heck, who would've thunk it? I'm now again hearing sirens, heard them all last night.

                                    Stay safe fellow Chows, one never knows.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: breadchick

                                      Glad you are okay, breadchick. Yes, it isn't just how hard the wind blows. There is a lot to a hurricane and they aren't predictable at all. Just imagine what this would have been like if it hadn't weakened as it left the Carolinas and Virginia.

                                      1. re: breadchick

                                        Hope you are well, bc, and things are back to normal asap.

                                        1. re: Jay F

                                          Thanks, to you and Leepa. As said, we're old hands at camping, so knowing how to manage going without elec and water was expected. What none of us expected was the extreme nature of the amount of raindrench in such a short amount of time - God awful.

                                          Thanks, we are okay. As I said before, I can't imagine what is must be like for those going through this on a yearly basis. I just had a small taste and that's enough for me.

                                          Thanks again for your thoughts.

                                      2. I think all I'd need would be a butane stove & some cans of fuel, a wok, a pint glass, and a supply of Ale...all of which I already have.
                                        These days, I just can't imagine people not having a few days worth of food in the pantry, fridge, and freezer to last a few days or a week.

                                        The supermarket frenzy before a storm only makes me laugh.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: The Professor

                                          A freezer may go inoperable. Options include dry/canned foods, a dedicated freeze ice-chest with 20-30 pounds of dry ice before the disaster hits, or a gasoline-powered generator, and enough gasoline to run the freezer intermittently.

                                          For refrigerated food, the newer 6-7 day ice chests, with 10-20 pounds of block ice, work well. Before refrigerated trucks, they used to ship fresh produce from California to the East Coast with block ice. For extended summer-heat power outages of a couple weeks, you can always buy one ice-chest with a block or two, and have another ice-chest with ice-blocks and dry-ice to replenish the first. Also, for either or both, you can buy some home-insulation, cheap and cut and glue containers, around or inside your ice-chests, or stand-alone, to maximize cold time to three-four weeks. If you dig a pit and put the contraption in the ground, maybe 6-8 weeks.

                                          1. re: MarkKS

                                            Sure the freezer could go unoperable, but it should still provide four days worth of eats, especially if you start with what's in the fridge an d are efficient about opening the doors. But as someone pointed out, there's always the pantry with its canned and dry goods.

                                            I stand my ground about a supply of ale though. LOL. Refrigeration not even neccessary.

                                          2. re: The Professor

                                            I have a cheap camp stove which boils water just fine, and a half dozen propane canisters. I did stock up on bottled water, but it's not going to go to waste. My favorite thing is a propane flat top griddle that we use for tailgating - does bacon and eggs, grilled cheeses, quesadillas, pretty much everything. Except boil water. Just FYI, here in VA, our power is back on, and we are lucky to be unscathed, but we have two houses on my street with significant tree-on-house damage.

                                            1. re: The Professor

                                              and the frenzy in the car park makes me cry,some folks really stoop

                                            2. cookware? cast iron

                                              we have a manual coffee pot and a gas stove so that works (as well as for cooking)

                                              battery powered lamp

                                              crank radio and flashlight

                                              1. beer. and jugs of fresh water.

                                                1. I left off something we keep four of handy for car trips,barn watch and reading for our frequent,but short power outages."ITTY BITTY" book light.

                                                  Really handy in the kitchen.They clip or slide on almost anywhere for directional good light,that doesn't flicker or move.

                                                  I am really grateful for our very powerful close neighbors next down the line from us.The State Police & Park Police regional helicopter training and response unit.We were only down for an hour twice.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: lcool

                                                    We were stuck in Clackamas County for three days with no electricity. Ice storm, temps down to -3F. I guess we could have gone to a Portland hotel, electricity never down, but it was fun to run the log-burning stove, and sleep huddled together, kids in the middle. Dad getting up a few times to add wood to the stove. Pulling out a camping stove to cook. Freezer was out, no problem, we just put stuff into the garage.

                                                    1. re: MarkKS

                                                      I enjoyed your post. This is kinda how we feel like it. We've often been able to take advantage of the fact that winter power cuts mean you can put fridge food in the garage, and freezer food right in the snow out back (covered, of course - we don't want to attract beasties.) A right made wood fire and the only company needs to be family and you get to do some serious uninterrupted thinking. A good reason to heap on lots of layers too!

                                                      Of course, the luxury is that we get to return to our coddled selves but it makes us think about folks that face such circumstances all the time. That's a good reminder.

                                                  2. I can beat that. The idiot who built my house not only ran gas to two fireplaces while opting for an electric cooktop and oven, but she also opted for a gas dryer in the laundry room. I think you have to pay extra for all that gas service. I have no idea what she was thinking. Obviously she wasn't much of a cook.

                                                    You can make coffee with a pour-over cone if you can boil water on your gas grill. Primitive, but efficient.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: RGC1982

                                                      Still a primitive brewer here or cold brew.After decades of Chemex I really am looking for a great 2 cup machine,NOT POD.Would not ever be without our Chemex or Mocha Express when the power goes,even with an outdoor kitchen and generators.

                                                      1. re: RGC1982

                                                        You learn to do what you have to do. In '93's great blizzard I was woefully unprepared. Was without power for nearly a week with only a tiny little propane grill - the picnic kind. No heat source. My house warmed up to 40 degrees during the day. And no one home but me and the cat. No one to cuddle with. I learned quickly what I needed and promptly got it asap.

                                                      2. The best cookware for a hurricane is a whole house generator that runs off your natural gas connection, rather than running off gasoline. We just had one installed to the tune of $9,000 ($7,500 for the generator and the rest for the concrete pad and Ricky the Plumber.) It's pretty spendy, to be sure, but I'm guessing that our investment will make Northwest Florida hurricane-free for years to come.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mandycat

                                                          your are spot on,but most people aren't nearly as fortunate as we are

                                                          we have twice the capacity we need in generators and the second well can be pumped using the PTO on the tractor.

                                                        2. Folks, we removed a number of testy and off-topic posts that were about evacuation orders and the storm in general rather than anything related to food. Unfortunately, that took with it some posts on Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks instant coffee. If anyone wants their post back so they can edit and repost the food-related info, please write to us at moderators@chowhound.com and we can email you a copy.

                                                          1. I think the cookware that would most likely survive a hurricane would be heavy cast iron. Some of that lightweight aluminum cookware would easily blow away in a hurricane.

                                                            1. In So. Cal. here, no hurricanes, but have been evacuated due to big fires twice and there's every-present earthquake dangers. About Nov. of each year, we replenish our emergency food/water supplies--lots of no-heat needed foods, bottled water, hygiene supplies. Altho', I often wonder, why do we think our whole kitchen/pantry will be wiped out, but those trunks of "emergency" supplies will be unscathed?

                                                              Last year, tho', we did finally buy backpacks for each car, bought pouches of water & food supplies for each vehicle. Now that seems more practical.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: pine time

                                                                The thing about hurricanes today is, the storm-track forecasts are getting very reliable. You have 3-4 days to get out of the path. You can drive 1000+ miles easily in that time. Really poor people, not having cars, difficult, but even NO residents in 2005 Katrina could have gotten buses to higher-ground more-inland Baton Rouge in 2 hours.

                                                                If you live in Florida, which may get a Cat 3-4 storm this season (not sure, temps are cooling rapidly), drive north and inland. Survey your damage after the storm passes, don't be in the middle of it happening. The most important thing is, even if you can only go east-west, or west-east, stay out of the storm surge zone.

                                                                On SoCal wildfires, they could ignite near you. If one happens, get down to the coastal plain, a one-hour drive or less. If the most-direct route is fire-blocked, go the other way, then find a way out of the mountains (many options). There is no reason for anyone to be burned to a crisp. If the house goes, it goes. No reason to die.